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HockeyProspect.com 2015 NHL Draft Rankings Top 30 - December Edition

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Old
12-01-2014, 04:21 PM
  #1
Mark Edwards
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HockeyProspect.com 2015 NHL Draft Rankings Top 30 - December Edition

Our latest rankings are now on our website. Not a ton of change this month.


1 Connor McDavid C Erie OHL 6' 0" 185
2 Jack Eichel C Boston U NCAA 6' 1" 195
3 Noah Hanifin D Boston College NCAA 6' 2" 201
4 Pavel Zacha LW Sarnia OHL 6' 3" 210
5 Mitchell Marner C London OHL 5' 11" 155
6 Lawson Crouse LW Kingston OHL 6' 4" 211
7 Zack Werenski D Michigan NCAA 6' 2" 201
8 Dylan Strome C Erie OHL 6' 2" 187
9 Kyle Connor C/W Youngstown USHL 6' 1" 170
10 Jérémy Roy D Sherbrooke QMJHL 6' 0" 182

Full Top 30 is FREE here

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Old
12-01-2014, 04:34 PM
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What do you identify as the determining factors separating Marner and Merkley, at this point? I have seen a lot of Merkley and have only had 4 viewings of Marner, but I don't see them as being considerably apart from one another in terms of potential moving forward. Not picking bones, I am just curious as to what a more informed source thinks.

Altogether an excellent and very equitable list.

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12-01-2014, 04:56 PM
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TheJuxtaposer
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Oh man if it weren't for Zacha and Crouse so high I would love your top-10. What on earth has either of them done to be considered better prospects than Dylan Strome? Or half of the rest of the first round for that matter.

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12-01-2014, 04:58 PM
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Mark Edwards
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Originally Posted by foxygen View Post
What do you identify as the determining factors separating Marner and Merkley, at this point? I have seen a lot of Merkley and have only had 4 viewings of Marner, but I don't see them as being considerably apart from one another in terms of potential moving forward. Not picking bones, I am just curious as to what a more informed source thinks.

Altogether an excellent and very equitable list.
first, thanks for the kind words.

Being in Ontario I obviously have the chance to see more of Marner and I have seen him a ton. He is a highly skilled player, skating is great, he uses his edges so well and makes himself a very effective forechecker. He's a tireless worker. As one very experienced scout (not Ontario based) said to me one night in London "you don't see too many players with his amount of talent backcheck that hard." Last year when I raved about Marner his detractors told me he couldn't score. I told them he did in AAA and as he got stronger it would translate to the OHL. He is scoring now.

Marner has fantastic vision and he combines it with creativity to translate those attributes into high end playmaking ability. That would be one area where I think he separates himself a little bit from not just Merkley, but a ton of players (both current and past prospects).

For the record, I really like Merkley. He is our biggest riser. He went up the rankings on all our western scouts lists. I like his compete level mixed with the ability to put points on the board. His assist numbers speak to that.

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12-01-2014, 05:03 PM
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Love to see Marner and Connor high, as they are two of my favorites in the draft.

Love your ranking so far, pretty close to mine. I have Crouse and Zacha a little bit lower, and Kylington and Svechnikov a little bit higher.

Would like to know more about Rantanen...

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Old
12-01-2014, 05:06 PM
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Mark Edwards
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Originally Posted by TheJuxtaposer View Post
Oh man if it weren't for Zacha and Crouse so high I would love your top-10. What on earth has either of them done to be considered better prospects than Dylan Strome? Or half of the rest of the first round for that matter.
Just a quick reply because I need to fly but Zacha just outplayed Strome head to head in Sarnia last week. Crouse has been fantastic in all our viewings.

I also just saw Strome in London last friday. I like Strome (we have him high) but he did very little that night other than get a phantom assist. He was good in Sarnia the week before but also got a phantom assist in that game.

I loved Zacha 2 years ago in Sochi (albeit limited ice time) , thought he was average in Finland last april (and we dropped him slightly in our rankings) and now I have seen him several times in a Sarnia uniform where he has been good to great each time.

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12-01-2014, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Edwards View Post
Just a quick reply because I need to fly but Zacha just outplayed Strome head to head in Sarnia last week. Crouse has been fantastic in all our viewings.

I also just saw Strome in London last friday. I like Strome (we have him high) but he did very little that night other than get a phantom assist. He was good in Sarnia the week before but also got a phantom assist in that game.

I loved Zacha 2 years ago in Sochi (albeit limited ice time) , thought he was average in Finland last april (and we dropped him slightly in our rankings) and now I have seen him several times in a Sarnia uniform where he has been good to great each time.
Thanks a ton for the reply. Perhaps I'm just seeing bad games or something, but Zacha has never impressed me.

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12-01-2014, 05:28 PM
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Zacha has done precisely nothing to warrant being a top 10 selection at this point, let alone this top-5 lunacy. He has done nothing, i mean nothing, to be worthy of being the 3rd forward taken. Madness.

Also think Crouse is too high (i sound like a broken record). Switch him with Svechnikov (yup), switch Zacha with J Roy and drop him down to 5th or 6th and that's almost what my top 30 looks like. My major gripe is Provorov at 27. That's a travesty.

Not a bad list, but i have some real nits to pick with it

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12-01-2014, 06:15 PM
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Zacha has done precisely nothing to warrant being a top 10 selection at this point, let alone this top-5 lunacy. He has done nothing, i mean nothing, to be worthy of being the 3rd forward taken. Madness.

Also think Crouse is too high (i sound like a broken record). Switch him with Svechnikov (yup), switch Zacha with J Roy and drop him down to 5th or 6th and that's almost what my top 30 looks like. My major gripe is Provorov at 27. That's a travesty.

Not a bad list, but i have some real nits to pick with it
Don't need to say much more than that to realize you are just a stat watcher. Or you might be catching him on off nights I don't know, but you don't find many players with his size, his incredible skating ability, and the ability to play whatever kind of game he needs to bring whether that be skill, physical, defensive. I've seen him play only for the Sting and nothing before this season but this kid has game breaking ability once he gets more adjusted. Plays a similar game to Galchenyuk when he played in Sarnia, just more physical. I suggest you catch a live game or two.

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12-01-2014, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Edwards View Post
Just a quick reply because I need to fly but Zacha just outplayed Strome head to head in Sarnia last week. Crouse has been fantastic in all our viewings.

I also just saw Strome in London last friday. I like Strome (we have him high) but he did very little that night other than get a phantom assist. He was good in Sarnia the week before but also got a phantom assist in that game.

I loved Zacha 2 years ago in Sochi (albeit limited ice time) , thought he was average in Finland last april (and we dropped him slightly in our rankings) and now I have seen him several times in a Sarnia uniform where he has been good to great each time.
We all saw that game on tv and Strome was robbed by rhe London goalie with the paddle of his stick on the goal line after hounding the defensman the whole way up the rink. I realize that's a tv view over a live view but maybe you missed that.

I haven't seen Zacha do much in the games I've watched this year.

Strome looks and plays like a lefty Ryan johamsem did when he was in junior. They both had that lanky frame, now look at ryjo In the show.

That's gonna be strome.

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Old
12-01-2014, 08:36 PM
  #11
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Originally Posted by Canuck71 View Post
Don't need to say much more than that to realize you are just a stat watcher. Or you might be catching him on off nights I don't know, but you don't find many players with his size, his incredible skating ability, and the ability to play whatever kind of game he needs to bring whether that be skill, physical, defensive. I've seen him play only for the Sting and nothing before this season but this kid has game breaking ability once he gets more adjusted. Plays a similar game to Galchenyuk when he played in Sarnia, just more physical. I suggest you catch a live game or two.
Can you please refer to the games in which I'd be able to see what youre seeing out of Zacha? I'd like to watch him at his best as I've yet to catch it.

I'm guessing I just haven't seen the right games. If he's a bigger meaner Gally he should be where Mark and Co rank him.

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12-01-2014, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vor View Post
Zacha has done precisely nothing to warrant being a top 10 selection at this point, let alone this top-5 lunacy. He has done nothing, i mean nothing, to be worthy of being the 3rd forward taken. Madness.

Also think Crouse is too high (i sound like a broken record). Switch him with Svechnikov (yup), switch Zacha with J Roy and drop him down to 5th or 6th and that's almost what my top 30 looks like. My major gripe is Provorov at 27. That's a travesty.

Not a bad list, but i have some real nits to pick with it
What do you see from Svechnikov that would warrant him being that high?

Having watched him play several times I wondering why you think so highly of him.

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12-01-2014, 09:07 PM
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Have you seen much of Dmytro Timashov? Why do you think he deserves to be outside the top-30 despite putting up over 1.6 PPG as a rookie in his first year in North America?

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12-01-2014, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by TheJuxtaposer View Post
Oh man if it weren't for Zacha and Crouse so high I would love your top-10. What on earth has either of them done to be considered better prospects than Dylan Strome? Or half of the rest of the first round for that matter.
I was at the game between Erie and Sarnia about 10 days ago. I've seen both play over four times so far this season and will get one more viewing of them each before the Christmas break.

Zacha was ejected for a hit from behind but up to that point Zacha was the better player. It seems like a lot of the criticism of Zacha could be misperceived from watching on video, it can sometimes be hard to see some of the things he does when you don't follow him on a shift by shift basis, and in a game like that where he is a 1C playing against Strome who's also playing 1C for his team it was an excellent opportunity to see the two of them head to head. Although it was a short night for Zacha and the Otters won the game, watching those two go head to head really reassured myself of our ranking of the two and where they are placed for me.

This year is so close in the OHL at the top when you look at guys like Zacha/Marner/Crouse/Strome. I wouldn't put anyone down who liked Strome ahead of Zacha but based on my viewings and what I've seen of them, this is how I see it and I am happy that we have these 4 OHL players in the order we have them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck71 View Post
Don't need to say much more than that to realize you are just a stat watcher. Or you might be catching him on off nights I don't know, but you don't find many players with his size, his incredible skating ability, and the ability to play whatever kind of game he needs to bring whether that be skill, physical, defensive. I've seen him play only for the Sting and nothing before this season but this kid has game breaking ability once he gets more adjusted. Plays a similar game to Galchenyuk when he played in Sarnia, just more physical. I suggest you catch a live game or two.
It's interesting you mention this, I was thinking at the last game I saw some things in Zacha that I like similar to Galchenyuk. Not the same player but certainly some similarities and for what it's worth a lot of people thought we were crazy at the time when we put Galchenyuk at #1 instead of Yakupov, at the 2012 NHL Draft but that seems to have paid off long term.

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12-01-2014, 09:41 PM
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Hey RyanHP.

Do you wonder of some of the things you're seeing from Zacha is just that's he's more polished and physically mature.

Seeing Strome with his shift off pre-game on tv lends me to believe he's got a significant amount of filling out to do on his frame. Is Zacha similar? Not that I like to make a habit of checking out teenage boys with their shirts off but Zacha seems more developed, and has also played against men which could have an effect on some of the little things. Just a thought. Love me some HP. Keep it up.

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12-01-2014, 09:52 PM
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Hey RyanHP.

Do you wonder of some of the things you're seeing from Zacha is just that's he's more polished and physically mature.

Seeing Strome with his shift off pre-game on tv lends me to believe he's got a significant amount of filling out to do on his frame. Is Zacha similar? Not that I like to make a habit of checking out teenage boys with their shirts off but Zacha seems more developed, and has also played against men which could have an effect on some of the little things. Just a thought. Love me some HP. Keep it up.
I know Zacha has gone through some crazy intense physical training, so I think it's a safe bet to say that he is far more physically developed than Strome.

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12-01-2014, 10:22 PM
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Hey RyanHP.

Do you wonder of some of the things you're seeing from Zacha is just that's he's more polished and physically mature.

Seeing Strome with his shift off pre-game on tv lends me to believe he's got a significant amount of filling out to do on his frame. Is Zacha similar? Not that I like to make a habit of checking out teenage boys with their shirts off but Zacha seems more developed, and has also played against men which could have an effect on some of the little things. Just a thought. Love me some HP. Keep it up.
Zacha's experience playing against men certainly will help. He has a WJC and 2 U18's under his belt as well so the experience Zacha has is certainly a beneficial factor. Strome will get stronger as I'm sure Zacha will continue to fill out as well but Zacha plays with a chip on his shoulder and likes to engage physically when he can and that is something that is near impossible to teach. Strome doesn't have to be physical to be a successful NHLer but it's certainly an asset that is valuable to Zacha's game.

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12-01-2014, 10:54 PM
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Our latest rankings are now on our website. Not a ton of change this month.


1 Connor McDavid C Erie OHL 6' 0" 185
2 Jack Eichel C Boston U NCAA 6' 1" 195
3 Noah Hanifin D Boston College NCAA 6' 2" 201
4 Pavel Zacha LW Sarnia OHL 6' 3" 210
5 Mitchell Marner C London OHL 5' 11" 155
6 Lawson Crouse LW Kingston OHL 6' 4" 211
7 Zack Werenski D Michigan NCAA 6' 2" 201
8 Dylan Strome C Erie OHL 6' 2" 187
9 Kyle Connor C/W Youngstown USHL 6' 1" 170
10 Jérémy Roy D Sherbrooke QMJHL 6' 0" 182

Full Top 30 is FREE here

LINK
Any thoughts on why other services are so down on J. Roy in comparison to your ranking? Is it more than something like seeing him on the wrong night? It sure seems like there's something going on, with several well-reputed services recently dropping him like he's made of lead.

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12-01-2014, 11:26 PM
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Any thoughts on why other services are so down on J. Roy in comparison to your ranking? Is it more than something like seeing him on the wrong night? It sure seems like there's something going on, with several well-reputed services recently dropping him like he's made of lead.
I can only speak of my viewings of Roy but he has been fantastic when I've seen him play. Our head Quebec guy Jerome Berube has watched him play since his QMJHL Draft days with Collège Antoine-Girouard so he would know him much better than I do.

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12-02-2014, 12:04 AM
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Plays a similar game to Galchenyuk when he played in Sarnia, just more physical. I suggest you catch a live game or two.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanHPscout View Post
I was at the game between Erie and Sarnia about 10 days ago. I've seen both play over four times so far this season and will get one more viewing of them each before the Christmas break.

It's interesting you mention this, I was thinking at the last game I saw some things in Zacha that I like similar to Galchenyuk. Not the same player but certainly some similarities and for what it's worth a lot of people thought we were crazy at the time when we put Galchenyuk at #1 instead of Yakupov, at the 2012 NHL Draft but that seems to have paid off long term.
There are definitely similarities but like you said they aren't the same player. Gally knew when to pick his spots better and still has one of the most lethal shots (aside from Stamkos) I've ever seen in the OHL. I think Zacha is just finding his way over in North America right now, anyone who watches this guy play and focuses in on him realizes the talent level and the endless potential for this kid so I completely agree with the #4 ranking.

Also I was one of those huge supporters of Gally over Yaki in the long run and many Sarnia regular attendees would have said the same. Glad you feel the same way!

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12-02-2014, 05:04 AM
  #21
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The #4-20ish spots in this draft are always going to vary widely from ranking to ranking, so I have no problem seeing a few players higher/lower than I myself would rank them (based on, admittedly, far inferior knowledge).

The only ranking I find particularly surprising is Provorov at 27. Why so low?

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